NA deputies debate new Press Law

A revision of Press Law was necessary after 16 years since the previous law was implemented, National Assembly (NA) deputies said at yesterday's session.

Journalists at the parade marking Viet Nam's 70th National Day (September 2nd) at Ba Dinh Square last September. (Photo: VNA/VNS)

Most of the deputies agreed that the current Press Law had exposed many shortcomings and could not meet reality anymore.

Strongly developing the high-technology and expanding social networks have made a big change in journalism activities.

Deputies recognised many new points on press freedom and freedom of speech in the revised law.

The revised law also extends to entities who are allowed to establish press organizations.

However, some deputies said that the revised law should clearly regulate possibilities and the power of heads of press entities.

Deputy Tran Hong Tham of Can Tho Province said in recent years, journalism activity had exposed many concerns including misleading and false information, and increasingly commercializing news.

Tham also asked that the law should add an item on strict sanctions and punishment for reporters, journalists and editors-in-chief who violate professional ethics and publish false information.

Meanwhile, some deputies expressed disagreement with the clause on organising a press conference. The clause regulates that any citizen or organisation who wants to hold a press conference should have to inform the authorities 24 hours ahead of time.

Deputy Tran Ngoc Minh from Hai Phong City said that "unexpected events and emergency cases such as natural calamities, floods, accidents happen in daily life. It is necessary to hold press conference quickly to inform the pubic".

Raising opinions to the revised law, deputy Doan Nguyen Thuy Trang from HCM City asked that the law help to further effectively carry out press management in the new period.

Trang also expressed her desire to make clear the definition of press freedom.

According to her, the right had been understood in many different ways.

To ensure press freedom, the revised law should clearly regulate the rights of information approach of journalists and press agencies.

Also in yesterday session, the NA passed the resolution on Bailiff Service and Law on Professional Soldiers and Military Personnel.

Under the resolution, the activity will be permitted to be carried out nationwide.

Law on Professional Soldiers and Military Personnels regulates terms and ages of professional soldiers.

The law specifically regulates the working age cap for each military rank, including majors and lieutenant colonels, who will be allowed to serve in the army until age 54 with no distinction between male and female soldiers.

A male senior lieutenant-colonel, according to the Law, is due to retire when he is 56 years old, and the retirement age is 55 for female colonels.

Lieutenants will retire at the age of 52, according to the newly-passed law.

More about NA meeting

The NA afternoon session, guided by NA Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu, continued with the adoption of a drafted Resolution ratifying the Protocol Amendment for the Marrakesh agreement on the establishment of the World Trade Organisation.

Deputies gave approval to the law on the organisation of criminal investigative agencies after hearing a report on collecting feedback on the law delivered by the head of the NA's Committee on Judicial Affairs Nguyen Van Hien.

Discussions on the draft Law on Associations featured policies, criteria for establishing associations, the State management, among other aspects.

The NA is due to pass the revised Criminal Code, the Criminal Proceeding Code, a Resolution on preventing and controlling law violations and crimes, and activities of the People's Procuracy and the People's Courts as well as law enforcement for 2016.

The draft Laws on information access and pharmacy will be also up for debate.

Source: VNS

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